Friday, February 27, 2009


'We are in Paris, not New York and at 206 million euros; this is the biggest single owner collection ever sold and' said a jubilant François Curiel 'there are six more sales to come'. The smiles on the faces of François de Ricqles, the main architect of the sale, Pierre Bergé and Christie's owner François Pinault, told their own tale of triumph after a barrage of doubts both in the press and in the art market itself.And the tally is extraordinary. Ten world records, led by Yves Saint Laurent's favourite painting; Matisse's 'Les Couscous tapis bleu et rose', 1911 which fetched an astonishing 35,905,000 euros. The Brancusi 'Portrait of Madam R' fetched 26,000,000, the second highest price of the night. The price of 7,900,000 euros for the Duchamp piece was the talk of the after sale. There were only two failures, notably the Picasso 1914 cubist picture. But its non-sale pleased Pierre Bergé who told everyone it would be going straight back on his wall. It was, as they say, a great night.

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